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National University of Singapore’s acceptance rate

Updated on 05 April, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The National University of Singapore, usually abbreviated as NUS, is a national research university located in Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore. It is the oldest autonomous university in Singapore and is considered one of Asia’s top universities. The university’s fame is further accentuated by its 11th position on the QS World University Rankings 2023.


The 2021-22 session saw the admittance of 32,673 students for undergraduate courses at the university. Of these, 31,272 students were enrolled in full-time courses and 1,401 in part-time studies.

Graduate studies at the institute saw the enrolment of 14,529 students. The strength of students in each level of study is as follows:

Masters Students – 10,001
Doctoral Students – 3734
Diploma Students – 431
Coursework Doctoral Students – 353

Admission Eligibility Criteria

How to get admission to the National University of Singapore? There are some specific admission criteria to be eligible for consideration for undergraduate courses at the university. These criteria are as follows:

  • One should have completed or are in the process of completing  high school studies when applying.
  • One must have completed at least twelve years of general education by July during the year of application.
  • One should possess one of the following scores – ACT with writing and SAT subject tests, SAT and SAT subject tests, and Advanced Placement report.

The National University of Singapore’s admission criteria for graduate courses are

  • A relevant (depending on the course) bachelor’s degree from a reputed institute (for incoming master’s students)
  • A relevant master’s degree from a reputed institute (for incoming Ph.D. students)
  • English Proficiency Tests (TOEFL or IELTS) if the first language is not English
  • GRE scores for selected programs

Documents Required

The National University of Singapore’s admission requirements asks for a list of mandatory documents to be submitted along with the application. Although some documents are standard for all levels of study, certain ones differ as per the student’s discretion in choosing an undergraduate or graduate course.

The University of Singapore’s admission requirements for undergraduate degrees demands mandatory documents like:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • High school examination result slip, if one has finished high school by the time of application
  • Most recent examination result slip, if one is  still awaiting results
  • SAT, ACT, IELTS, or TOEFL scores depending on the course requirements
  • University academic transcripts for transfer students
  • Medical and criminal reports, if applicable

Some of the documents required to be eligible for graduate studies at NUS are:

  • GRE/GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS scores according to course requirements
  • Updated resume with current work experience and recent projects
  • Certified copies of degree/mark sheet and degree certificate
  • Motivation Letter, no less than 500 words citing the  reasons for choosing the course
  • Financial supporting documents to  show if one can handle the living expenses and tuition fee

If one has secured admission, 

must submit attested copies of  official university transcripts in a sealed envelope to NUS.

Tests Required and Average Score

The National University of Singapore’s admission requirements recommends that the candidates appear for the ACT or SAT. One can submit either ACT in writing or SAT with subject test scores. 

The ACT comprises five sections, of which the writing test is optional. If one is planning to submit ACT scores instead of SAT, taking the writing test is mandatory. The minimum writing component score deemed by the university differs on the year of the examination.

  • If one has appeared for ACT on or before September 2016, the minimum writing score must be 24. The range must be between 1 to 36.
  • The minimum composite score for appearing after October 2016 is 8, with a range between 2 to 12.

For SAT, the minimum acceptable scores are as follows:

  • 600 for Evidence-based Reading and Writing
  • 650 for Mathematics

It is important to note that all SAT sections must be taken in a single sitting. Scores from different sessions cannot be combined. 

In addition, NUS requires a minimum score of 650 in each subject for the SAT Subject Tests. The university accepts the scores for three subjects taken within two sittings over a period of twelve months.

Popular Courses

With some of the top-rated programs in the world, NUS attracts thousands of students worldwide. It has a total of 13,833 individual programs, spanning different levels namely bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Some of the most popular courses at the institute are listed below.

  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science & Information Systems
  • Social Policy & Administration
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Geography
  • Materials Science
  • Architecture/Built Environment
  • Sociology
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics & Operational Research
  • Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Law
  • Politics and International Studies

How the National University of Singapore Evaluates Applicants

The National University of Singapore focuses on student’s  overall academic achievements while evaluating the application for admission to its courses. It also makes a decision based on the interviews in which the student has appeared, the tests taken, and other non-academic achievements synonymous with them.

The chance of gaining admission will also depend on the choice of course. For example, reputable and in-demand courses like Engineering would require an extensive academic profile with notable achievements.

The university also offers an option for Aptitude Based Admission, where candidates having distinguished aptitude or interest in a selected course are considered. In this option, NUS will ease the academic restriction and focus on factors like the candidate’s demonstrated ability in the subject, work experience, leadership, community engagement, and a minimum level of academic competence.

Some of the achievements that are considered under this admission are:

  • Securing a medal at International Olympiads for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Informatics, or Mathematics)
  • Active participation in community service and volunteer programs
  • Relevant work experience
  • Key leadership positions outside school

Tips for Applying to the National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore’s acceptance rate is low, making it difficult to secure admission to the institute. Here are some tips that can help one strengthen the application:

  • Ensure maintaining a good academic record since the university places a strong emphasis on grades for admission
  • Partaking in extracurricular activities and volunteering to boost the overall profile
  • Although optional, try to score the minimum scores in the ACT and SAT to communicate the knowledge and aptitude outside school to the admissions committee
  • Draft a motivational letter detailing the goal behind pursuing the course
  • Gain good scores on GRE/GMAT to ensure the admissions committee about your readiness for master’s programs
  • Go through all the online resources provided by the university to understand their expectations and culture to make a well-informed decision for the future

Application Deadline

To answer the question of how to get admission to the National University of Singapore, ensure that one completes the application before the deadline. The application deadline for undergraduate courses at the institute depends on the qualification type of the candidate. 

 Application Closing Dates (for 2022)Deadline for Documents SubmissionDate of Estimated Application OutcomeAppeal window
  1. Indonesian Ujian Nasional (UN)
  2. Vietnam National High School Graduation Examination[1]
  3. Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)[1]
14th February 202217th February 2022Mid-May19th May 2022 – 26th May 2022
All other qualification types28th February 20223rd March 2022Mid-May to End July 

The application dates for postgraduate programs depend on the course and level of study. 

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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